MCC student honored as Newman Civic Fellow

Shannon Poppell recognized for commitment to solving public problems

MESA, Arizona – March 9, 2022 -- Campus Compact, a national coalition of colleges and universities working to advance the public purposes of higher education, has named 173 student civic leaders who will make up the organization’s 2022-2023 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows. Shannon Poppell, a student at Mesa Community College (MCC), will join students from 38 states, Washington, D.C., and Mexico to form the cohort.

Photo of woman in black suit with red blouse smiling
Shannon Poppell

The Newman Civic Fellowship recognizes students who stand out for their commitment to creating positive change in communities locally and around the world. The fellowship is named for the late Frank Newman, one of Campus Compact’s founders, who was a tireless advocate for civic engagement in higher education. In the spirit of Dr. Newman’s leadership, fellows are nominated by Campus Compact member presidents and chancellors, who are invited to select one outstanding student from their campus each year.

Poppell, an Honors student committed to making a difference, is on target to earn an Associate of Arts in Psychology in May 2023. As an AmeriCorps member, Shannon served a 300-hour term through Mesa United Way as a reading tutor and mentor to children in transitional housing.

On campus, Shannon tackled social issues such as student retention and success, fair representation of minorities in the Census2020, redistricting, and justice and equality. She also led a “Bag2Beds” project turning plastic grocery bags into sleeping mats for people without homes. Other accomplishments include establishing Net Impact as an official student organization on campus, of which she currently serves as president. Her other roles include vice president of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at the Red Mountain Campus and senator for the Psi Beta Psychology Honor Society.

“My journey of servant leadership began at the age of twelve with reading to younger children,” explains Poppell. “Since then, I have conducted many projects involving environmental sustainability, social equity, political representation, neurodiversity inclusion, mental wellness, educational achievement and cultural arts. My most fulfilling direct service roles have been in children’s theatre and promoting literacy, both of which are vital to the fabric of society. The arts encourage individuals to connect with experiences outside their own, while literacy enables knowledge, engagement and advocacy. My life is immeasurably enriched by these service experiences. I value each person and honor their unique human journey.

“I am moved by the ability of service to benefit not only the recipient, but also to empower volunteers in ways they had not imagined. Thus, I am committed to mentoring and equipping emerging servant leaders to pursue justice and equity aligned with their diverse passions. Inspiring others to serve does not focus on making one kind of difference, but on cultivating unity.”

Through the fellowship, Campus Compact will provide these students with a year of learning and networking opportunities that emphasize personal, professional, and civic growth. Each year, fellows participate in numerous virtual training and networking opportunities to help provide them with the skills and connections they need to create large-scale positive change. The cornerstone of the fellowship is the Annual Convening of Fellows, which offers intensive skill-building and networking over the course of two days. The fellowship also provides fellows with pathways to apply for exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.

Dr. Lori Berquam, MCC interim president, nominated Poppell for this recognition, stating that, “Shortly into her time at MCC, Shannon recognized that to achieve her potential, she needed to become engaged in the wellbeing of others. As an involved student, Shannon passionately serves as a resource to other students, promoting available resources and services. Shannon is a servant leader who leads by example. These qualities have drawn many students to participate in civic engagement and service.”

“We are proud to name such an outstanding and diverse group of students Newman Civic Fellows,” said Campus Compact President Bobbie Laur. “Their passion and resolve to take action on the wide range of issues challenging our neighborhoods and communities is inspiring and deeply needed. We cannot wait to engage with them through this transformative experience.”

The Newman Civic Fellowship program is supported by the KPMG Foundation. Learn more at You can read more about each of the student leaders selected for this year’s cohort at

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Media contact: Dawn Zimmer, or 480-461-7892

Campus Compact is a national coalition of colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education. Campus Compact supports institutions in fulfilling their public purposes by deepening their ability to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. As the largest national higher education association dedicated solely to campus-based civic engagement, we provide professional development to administrators and faculty to enable them to engage effectively, facilitate national partnerships connecting campuses with key issues in their local communities, build pilot programs to test and refine promising models in engaged teaching and scholarship, celebrate and cultivate student civic leadership, and convene higher education institutions and partners beyond higher education to share knowledge and develop collective capacity. Visit

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized for university transfer, career and technical programs, civic engagement, service-learning and innovative approaches to education. On average MCC students provide 23,000 hours of community service annually. For more than 50 years, the college has served as a resource for education, workforce development and lifelong learning. Host to more than 25,400 students annually, MCC offers degree and certificate programs at its two campuses and additional locations through a combination of modalities. MCC is transforming how it champions student success through Guided Pathways with Integrated Support Services and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution with nearly 50% of its students being the first in their families to attend college. MCC has the largest indigenous student population of all the Maricopa Community Colleges; its American Indian Institute serves students from the 22 federally recognized Arizona tribes as well as out-of-state tribes. The diverse student body includes hundreds of international students from around the world. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to attain their goals. Located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, on the traditional territories of the O'odham, Piipaash and Yavapai Peoples, MCC is one of 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District. Visit to learn more.

Mesa Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) --

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or national origin. A lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the career and technical education programs of the District. MCCCD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities. For Title IX/504 concerns, call the following number to reach the appointed coordinator: (480) 731-8499. For additional information, as well as a listing of all coordinators within the Maricopa College system, visit

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Publication Date: 
Wednesday, March 9, 2022